Today's Lectionary Text
And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus brought something new and different into our world. For the first time there was a man who did not recognize such things as national boundaries, nor racial differences, nor competing creeds. He neither condemned those who offended society by their abuse of the laws.
He did not seem to recognize the structure that man builds to separate some from others. He crossed national borders without fear. He dealt with and spoke to Samaritans (half-breeds to the Jews) and to tax-collectors, publicans and outsiders—all offenders of society by either birth, or abuse.
Jesus taught that we are not simply to tolerate these people in our society. Rather, we are to help them, try to understand them, and most of all, to be able to learn to love them. Today we are only just beginning to understand why persons hate, and get in trouble with the laws. Jesus gives us an answer to how to deal with the offenders in our society, even as he set the example in His own day.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Tolerance, alone, is not a virtue.
*This devotion is from a Lenten devotion from Lyndon United Methodist Church written in 1967. Does your church have devotions from the past that speak to us today? We would love to share them! Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayer for Reflection
O Lord, help us to learn more about ourselves and our fellowmen. Teach us how to extend our hand to those not like us. We pray that we will learn not simply to tolerate, but to really love those who are not easy to love because of their problems. Guide us in seeking to be of help. Amen.
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